Hundreds of Midland schools were set to close today as teachers staged a one-day strike over pensions and pay.
Thousands of primary and secondary school pupils were given the day off as National Union of Teachers members walked out.
The union is also angry over government plans to introduce performance-related pay by giving headteachers the power to set staff salaries.
Birmingham’s Moseley School was among those hit by the strike. It was only open to year 11, 12 and 13 pupils.
Chair of governors Patricia Beanland said: “There is no requirement on unions to inform us which members of staff will take action and no obligation on members of unions to obey a strike call.
“However a survey of our staff, in consultation with their professional association, indicated a significant majority intended to take strike action.”
NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “Teachers deeply regret the disruption caused by this strike action to parents and teachers.
“The Government’s refusal, however, to engage to resolve the dispute means we have no alternative other than to demonstrate the seriousness of our concerns.
“Teachers do not believe they can work to the age of 68 or even later for a full pension – and they don’t believe it is educationally desirable either.
“The NUT recognises that other workers are having their pensions squeezed. We believe this is wrong too – everyone should be entitled to a decent standard of living in retirement.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more.
“They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly.
“Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”
For a full list of strike-hit schools, visit www.birminghammail.co.uk